Two doors down

The owners of Flapjacks cafe, Phil and Karen Barrett, sit out of their cafe that will soon be a taqueria.

Flapjack’s Country Cafe expands, giving Tres Pinos gets its
first taqueria
An old favorite in Tres Pinos will be moving to a new building
and getting a new look, said Phil and Karen Barrett, owners of
Flapjack’s Country Cafe.
Flapjack’s Country Cafe expands, giving Tres Pinos gets its first taqueria

An old favorite in Tres Pinos will be moving to a new building and getting a new look, said Phil and Karen Barrett, owners of Flapjack’s Country Cafe.

Flapjack’s Country Cafe will be moving two doors down, to the site of the now closed Veranda restaurant, Phil said.

A new restaurant, Tres Pinos Tacos, will open at Flapjack’s current site, he said.

“The target is by April 1,” he said. Both restaurants will open simultaneously, Phil said.

Regulars at Flapjack’s can expect all their old favorites, plus a few new additions, he said.

“We are going to be bringing on the Apricot Freeze,” Phil said, referring to a local classic made famous at the former Sugar Plum Farms restaurant.

On certain days there will be a barbecue, he said. There will also be live, acoustic entertainment on some days, he said.

Flapjack’s will be opened Wed. through Monday from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m., Phil said.

Flapjack’s building is a “great place” to open a taqueria, he said. It will be the first taqueria in the area, he said.

Referring to residents of Tres Pinos, Phil said, “Why make them drive all the way to town and waste the gas money?”

Tres Pinos Tacos will feature homemade food, a simple menu and a nice atmosphere, he said.

Instead of having 37 mediocre items on the menu, Tres Pinos Tacos will have six or seven item that “shine,” Phil said.

Buying a burrito from Tres Pinos Tacos will be worth the money, he said.

“You can go to a convenience store and get a pre-made, microwave burrito,” Phil said, “or get a homemade one for a few pennies more.”

Tres Pinos Tacos will be opened Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m., he said.

Asked why they wanted to move Flapjack’s, Karen said, “We needed more room.”

Phil agreed.

“And the opportunity presented itself to expand,” he said. “The property owners felt that we would be the right fit for that building.”

The new site will provide many benefits, he said.

“I think the opportunity of expanding the physical size of the cafe; it will allow us to do what we do best,” Phil said, “provide food for a whole bunch more people.”

Currently, the restaurant can accommodate nearly 50 customers, Karen said. Including patio seating, the new site will double the restaurant’s capacity, Phil said.

“Right now, we have people waiting to get in,” he said, “Every weekend and on holidays, and when kids are off school.”

The new site will also provide customers with a parking lot, he said.

Currently, the Barretts are redecorating the Veranda, Phil said.

“All areas will be remodeled,” he said. “We’re going to be using a lot of hardwood.”

The new look will reflect the atmosphere of ranching and agriculture in the county, Karen said.

“Once the dust settles, it’s just going to be charming,” Phil said.

To accommodate Tres Pinos Tacos, only minor changes will be made to the Cafe, Karen said.

“We need to put in a counter so people can order,” she said. “We are not going to have table service.”

Their son Duffy will be an integral part of the new business, Phil said. He will manage the taqueria, he said.

“Without the three of us going into it, it wouldn’t work,” Phil said. Referring to her son, Karen said, “He’s worked for the restaurant since it opened, since he was 14 years old.”

The Barretts are clearly excited about their plans.

“I could babble about this all day,” Phil said. “We don’t talk much about ourselves, we let the plates do the talking.”

With the economy lagging, the Barretts are glad to be expanding their business, Karen said.

“Somebody has to build something,” she said. “I like the idea that, with the economy, we’re not closing something. We’re expanding one restaurant and opening another.”

Phil agreed.

“We’re blessed with this opportunity,” he said.

Referring to Tres Pinos Tacos, Phil said, “This is going to allow us the opportunity of another business and to employ a few more people.”

The Barretts wanted to expand Flapjack’s for years, he said.

“We always believed when we had the opportunity of expanding our restaurant, that would be the next step,” Phil said.

They talked about opening a taqueria for four or five years, he said.

“We are there,” Phil said. “We are so there. It’s so hard not to be excited. People tell me, ‘Phil, mellow out.’ I can’t.”

At 5 a.m. when Phil arrives at the cafe and prepares the restaurant for the first customers, he said, “I am one happy, excited boy, and it shows in our food.”

Customers agree.

“It’s so good,” said Brittney Weltz, a local resident. “It’s amazing. My dad comes out here, and he eats plates and plates.”

Flapjack’s attracts customers from Tres Pinos, as well as Hollister, Gilroy and Monterey, Phil said. People on their way to Pinnacles and Clear Creek also stop in, Phil said.

“Last year, we served over 27,000 people,” he said.

Karen agreed.

“Some of them were the same person over and over,” she said.

A lot of their customers are regulars, Phil and Karen said.

“We have a good cross section of local support,” Phil said.

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